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    An Interpretation by WILLIAM Q. JUDGE


    Originally published 1889. Theosophical University Press electronic version ISBN1-55700-122-7. Due to current limitations in the ASCII character set, and for ease

    of searching, no diacritical marks appear in this electronic version of the text.


    This Book is Laid upon the Altar of Masters' Cause, and is Dedicated to Their

    Servant H. P. Blavatsky. All concern for its Fruits or Results is Abandoned: Theyare left in Charge of Karma and the Members of the Theosophical Society.



    The Yoga Aphorisms of PatanjaliBook 1: ConcentrationBook 2: Means of Concentration

    Book 3Book 4: The Essential Nature of Isolation

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    This edition of Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms is not put forth as a new translation, nor as a literalrendering into English of the original.

    In the year 1885 an edition was printed at Bombay by Mr. Tookeram Tatya, a Fellow of the

    Theosophical Society, which has been since widely circulated among its members in all parts ofthe world. But it has been of use only to those who had enough acquaintance with the Indiansystem of philosophy to enable them to grasp the real meaning of the Aphorisms notwithstanding

    the great and peculiar obstacles due to the numberless brackets and interpolated sentences withwhich not only are the Aphorisms crowded, but the so-called explanatory notes as well. For thegreater number of readers these difficulties have been an almost insurmountable barrier; and

    such is the consideration that has led to the preparation of this edition, which attempts to clear upa work that is thought to be of great value to earnest students.

    It may be said by some captious critics that liberties have been taken with the text, and if thiswere emitted as a textual translation the charge would be true. Instead of this being a translation,

    it is offered as an interpretation, as the thought of Patanjali clothed in our language. No libertieshave been taken with the system of the great Sage, but the endeavor has been faithfully tointerpret it to Western minds unfamiliar with the Hindu modes of expression, and equallyunaccustomed to their philosophy and logic.

    About Patanjali's life very little, if anything, can be said. In the Rudra Jamala, theVrihannandikes'wara and the Padma-Purana are some meager statements, more or lesslegendary, relating to his birth. Ilavrita-Varsha is said to have been his birthplace, his mother

    being Sati the wife of Angiras. The tradition runs that upon his birth he made known things past,present and future, showing the intellect and penetration of a sage while yet an infant. He is saidto have married one Lolupa, whom he found in the hollow of a tree on the north of Sumeru, and

    thereafter to have lived to a great age. On one occasion, being insulted by the inhabitants ofBhotabhandra while he was engaged in religious austerities, he reduced them to ashes by firefrom his mouth.

    That these accounts are legendary and symbolical can be easily seen. Ilavrita-Varsha is no part

    of India, but is some celestial abode. The name of India proper is Bharata Varsha. "In it andnowhere else do the four ages or Yugas -- Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali -- exist. Here devoteesperform austerities and priests sacrifice. In this respect Bharata is the most excellent division; for

    this is the land of works, while the others are places of enjoyment.'' In the Bhagavat-Purana it issaid: "Of the Varshas, Bharata alone is the land of works; the other eight (including Ilavrita-Varsha) are places where the celestials enjoy the remaining rewards of their works." As Bharata-

    Varsha is a division of Jambudwipa, and known as India, and the other Varshas are for celestials,it follows that the account of Patanjali's birthplace cannot be relied upon in a material sense. Itmay be the ancient method of showing how great sages now and then descend from other

    spheres to aid and benefit man. But there is also another Patanjali mentioned in the Indian books.

    He was born in India at Gonarda, in the east, and from there be went to reside temporarily inKashmir. Prof. Goldstucker has concluded that this later Patanjali wrote about 140 B.C. His

    writings were commentaries upon the great grammarian Panini, and it is in respect to the Sanskritlanguage that he is regarded as an authority. He must not be confounded with our Patanjali; ofthe latter all that we have is the Philosophy set forth in the Aphorisms.

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    In regard to the systems of Yoga, the following by a writer on the subject will be of interest:

    "The Yoga system is divided into two principal parts -- Hatha and Raja Yoga. There are manyminor divisions which can be brought under either of these heads. Hatha Yoga was promoted and

    practised by Matsendra Nath and Goraksh Nath and their followers, and by many sects ofascetics in this country (India). This system deals principally with the physiological part of man

    with a view to establish his health and train his will. The processes prescribed to arrive at this endare so difficult that only a few resolute souls go through all the stages of its practice, while manyhave failed and died in the attempt. It is therefore strongly denounced by all the philosophers. Themost illustrious S'ankaracharya has remarked in his treatise called Aparokshanubhuti that 'the

    system of Hatha Yoga was intended for those whose worldly desires are not pacified oruprooted.' He has strongly spoken elsewhere against this practice."On the other hand, the Raja Yogis try to control the mind itself by following the rules laid down by

    the greatest of adepts."

    Patanjali's rules compel the student not only to acquire a right knowledge of what is and what is

    not real, but also to practice all virtues, and while results in the way of psychic development arenot so immediately seen as in the case of the successful practitioner of Hatha Yoga, it is infinitely

    safer and is certainly spiritual, which Hatha Yoga is not. In Patanjali's Aphorisms there is some

    slight allusion to the practices of Hatha Yoga, such as "postures," each of which is more difficultthan those preceding, and "retention of the breath," but he distinctly says that mortification and

    other practices are either for the purpose of extenuating certain mental afflictions or for the moreeasy attainment of concentration of mind.

    In Hatha Yoga practice, on the contrary, the result is psychic development at the delay orexpense of the spiritual nature. These last named practices and results may allure the Western

    student, but from our knowledge of inherent racial difficulties there is not much fear that many willpersist in them.

    This book is meant for sincere students, and especially for those who have some glimmering ofwhat Krishna meant, when in Bhagavad-Gitahe said, that after a while spiritual knowledge grows

    up within and illuminates with its rays all subjects and objects. Students of the mere forms of

    Sanskrit who look for new renderings or laborious attempts at altering the meaning of words andsentences will find nothing between these covers.

    It should be ever borne in mind that Patanjali had no need to assert or enforce the doctrine of

    reincarnation. That is assumed all through the Aphorisms. That it could be doubted, or need anyrestatement, never occurred to him, and by us it is alluded to, not because we have the smallestdoubt of its truth, but only because we see about us those who never heard of such a doctrine,

    who, educated under the frightful dogmas of Christian priestcraft, imagine that upon quitting thislife they will enjoy heaven or be damned eternally, and who not once pause to ask where wastheir soul before it came into the present body.

    Without Reincarnation Patanjali's Aphorisms are worthless. Take No. 18, Book III, which declares

    that the ascetic can know what were his previous incarnations with all their circumstances; or No.

    13, Book II, that while there is a root of works there is fructification in rank and years andexperience. Both of these infer reincarnation. In Aphorism 8, Book IV, reincarnation is a

    necessity. The manifestation, in any incarnation, of the effects of mental deposits made inprevious lives, is declared to ensue upon the obtaining of just the kind of bodily and mental frame,constitution and environment as will bring them out. Where were these deposits received if not in

    preceding lives on earth -- or even if on other planets, it is still reincarnation. And so on allthrough the Aphorisms this law is tacitly admitted.

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    In order to understand the system expounded in this book it is also necessary to admit theexistence of soul, and the comparative unimportance of the body in which it dwells. For Patanjali

    holds that Nature exists for the soul's sake, taking it for granted that the student believes in theexistence of soul. Hence he does not go into proof of that which in his day was admitted on everyhand. And, as he lays down that the real experiencer and knower is the soul and not the mind, it

    follows that the Mind, designated either as "internal organ," or "thinking principle," while higherand more subtle than the body, is yet only an instrument used by the Soul in gaining experience,just in the same way as an astronomer uses his telescope for acquiring information respecting the

    heavens. But the Mind is a most important factor in the pursuit of concentration; one indeedwithout which concentration cannot be obtained, and therefore we see in the first book that to thissubject Patanjali devotes attention. He shows that the mind is, as he terms it, "modified" by any

    object or subject brought before it, or to which it is directed. This may be well illustrated byquoting a passage from the commentator, who says: "The internal organ is there" -- in theVedanta Paribhasha -- "compared to water in respect of its readiness to adapt itself to the form of

    whatever mold it may enter. 'As the waters of a reservoir, having issued from an aperture, havingentered by a channel the basins, become four-cornered or otherwise shaped, just like them; sothe manifesting internal organ having gone through the sight, or other channel, to where there is

    one object, for instance a jar, becomes modified by the form of the jar or other object. It is thisaltered state of the internal organ -- or mind -- that is called its modification.'" While the internalorgan thus molds itself upon the object it at the same time reflects it and its properties to the soul.

    The channels by which the mind is held to go out to an object or subject, are the organs of sight,touch, taste, hearing, and so on. Hence by means of hearing it shapes itself into the form of theidea which may be given in speech, or by means of the eye in reading, it is molded into the form

    of that which is read; again, sensations such as heat and cold modify it directly and indirectly byassociation and by recollection, and similarly in the ease of all senses and sensations.

    It is further held that this internal organ, while having an innate disposition to assume somemodification or other depending upon constantly recurring objects -- whether directly present or

    only such as arise from the power of reproducing thoughts, whether by association or otherwise,may be controlled and stilled into a state of absolute calmness. This is what he means by"hindering the modifications." And just here it is seen that the theory of the soul's being the real

    experiencer and knower is necessary. For if we are but mind, or slaves of mind, we never canattain real knowledge because the incessant panorama of objects eternally modifies that mind

    which is uncontrolled by the soul, always preventing real knowledge from being acquired. But asthe Soul is held to be superior to Mind, it has the power to grasp and hold the latter if we but usethe will to aid it in the work, and then only the real end and purpose of mind is brought about.

    These propositions imply that the will is not wholly dependent on the mind, but is separable fromit; and, further, that knowledge exists as an abstraction. The will and mind are only servants for

    the soul's use, but so long as we are wrapped up in material life and do not admit that the realknower and only experiencer is the soul, just so long do these servants remain usurpers of thesoul's sovereignty. Hence it is stated in old Hindu works, that "the Soul is the friend of Self andalso its enemy; and, that a man should raise the self by the self."

    In other words there is a constant struggle between the lower and the Higher Self, in which theillusions of matter always wage war against the Soul, tending ever to draw downward the inner

    principles which, lying midway between the upper and the lower, are capable of reaching eithersalvation or damnation.

    There is no reference in the Aphorisms to the will. It seems to be inferred, either as wellunderstood and admitted, or as being one of the powers of soul itself and not to be discussed.Many old Hindu writers hold, and we incline to the same view, that Will is a spiritual power,

    function or attribute constantly present in every portion of the Universe. It is a colorless power, towhich no quality of goodness or badness is to be assigned, but which may be used in whateverway man pleases. When considered as that which in ordinary life is called "will," we see its

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    operation only in connexion with the material body and mind guided by desire; looked at inrespect to the hold by man upon life it is more recondite, because its operation is beyond the ken

    of the mind; analyzed as connected with reincarnation of man or with the persistence of themanifested universe throughout a Manvantara, it is found to be still more removed from ourcomprehension and vast in its scope.

    In ordinary life it is not man's servant, but, being then guided solely by desire, it makes man aslave to his desires. Hence the old cabalistic maxim, "Behind Will stands Desire." The desiresalways drawing the man hither and thither, cause him to commit such actions and have suchthoughts as form the cause and mold for numerous reincarnations, enslaving him to a destiny

    against which he rebels, and that constantly destroys and re-creates his mortal body. It is an errorto say of those who are known as strong-willed men, that their wills are wholly their servants, forthey are so bound in desire that it, being strong, moves the will into action for the consummation

    of wished for ends. Every day we see good and evil men prevailing in their several spheres. Tosay that in one there is good, and in the other evil will is manifestly erroneous and due tomistaking will, the instrument or force, for desire that sets it in motion toward a good or bad

    purpose. But Patanjali and his school well knew that the secret of directing the will with ten timesthe ordinary force might be discovered if they outlined the method, and then bad men whosedesires were strong and conscience wanting, would use it with impunity against their fellows; or

    that even sincere students might be carried away from spirituality when dazzled by the wonderfulresults flowing from a training of the will alone. Patanjali is silent upon the subject for this reasonamong others.

    The system postulates that I's'wara, the spirit in man, is untouched by any troubles, works, fruit of

    works, or desires, and when a firm position is assumed with the end in view of reaching unionwith spirit through concentration, He comes to the aid of the lower self and raises it gradually tohigher planes. In this process the Will by degrees is given a stronger and stronger tendency to act

    upon a different line from that indicated by passion and desire. Thus it is freed from thedomination of desire and at last subdues the mind itself. But before the perfection of the practiceis arrived at the will still acts according to desire, only that the desire is for higher things and away

    from those of the material life. Book III is for the purpose of defining the nature of the perfectedstate, which is therein denominated Isolation.

    Isolation of the Soul in this philosophy does not mean that a man is isolated from his fellows,becoming cold and dead, but only that the Soul is isolated or freed from the bondage of matter

    and desire, being thereby able to act for the accomplishing of the aim of Nature and Soul,including all souls of all men. Such, in the Aphorisms, is clearly stated to be the purpose. It hasbecome the habit of many superficial readers and thinkers, to say nothing of those who oppose

    the Hindu philosophy, to assert that Jivanmuktas or Adepts remove themselves from all life ofmen, from all activity, and any participation in human affairs, isolating themselves on inaccessiblemountains where no human cry can reach their ears. Such a charge is directly contrary to the

    tenets of the philosophy which prescribes the method and means for reaching such a state.These Beings are certainly removed from human observation, but, as the philosophy clearlystates, they have the whole of nature for their object, and this will include all living men. They may

    not appear to take any interest in transitory improvements or ameliorations, but they work behindthe scenes of true enlightenment until such times as men shall be able to endure their

    appearance in mortal guise.

    The term "knowledge" as used here has a greater meaning than we are accustomed to giving it. It

    implies full identification of the mind, for any length of time, with whatever object or subject it isdirected to. Modern science and metaphysics do not admit that the mind can cognize outside ofcertain given methods and distances, and in most quarters the existence of soul is denied or

    ignored. It is held, for instance, that one cannot know the constituents and properties of a piece ofstone without mechanical or chemical aids applied directly to the object; and that nothing can beknown of the thoughts or feelings of another person unless they are expressed in words or acts.

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    Where metaphysicians deal with soul they are vague and appear to be afraid of science, becauseit is not possible to analyse it and weigh its parts in a balance. Soul and Mind are reduced to the

    condition of limited instruments which take note of certain physical facts spread before themthrough mechanical aids. Or, in ethnological investigation, it is held that we can know such andsuch things about classes of men from observations made through sight, touch, sense of smell

    and hearing, in which case mind and soul are still mere recorders. But this system declares thatthe practicer who has reached certain stages, can direct his mind to a piece of stone, whether ata distance or near by, or to a man or class of men, and by means of concentration, cognize all the

    inherent qualities of the objects as well as accidental peculiarities, and know all about the subject.Thus, in the instance of, say, one of the Easter Islanders, the ascetic will cognize not only thatwhich is visible to the senses or to be known from long observation, or that has been recorded,

    but also deeply seated qualities, and the exact line of descent and evolution of the particularhuman specimen under examination. Modern science can know nothing of the Easter Islandersand only makes wild guesses as to what they are; nor can it with any certainty tell what is and

    from what came a nation so long before the eye of science as the Irish. In the ease of the Yogapractitioner he becomes, through the power of concentration, completely identified with the thingconsidered, and so in fact experiences in himself all the phenomena exhibited by the object aswell as all its qualities.

    To make it possible to admit all this, it is first required that the existence, use and function of anethereal medium penetrating everywhere, called Astral Light or A'kas'a by the Hindus, should beadmitted. The Universal distribution of this as a fact in nature is metaphysically expressed in the

    terms "Universal Brotherhood" and "Spiritual Identity." In it, through its aid, and by its use, thequalities and motions of all objects are universally cognizable. It is the surface, so to say, uponwhich all human actions and all things, thoughts and circumstances are fixed. The Easter Islander

    comes of a stock which has left its imprint in this Astral Light, and carries with him in indeliblewriting the history of his race. The ascetic in concentration fixes his attention upon this, and thenreads the record lost to Science. Every thought of Herbert Spencer, Mill, Bain, or Huxley is

    fastened in the Astral Light together with the respective systems of Philosophy formulated bythem, and all that the ascetic has to do is to obtain a single point of departure connected witheither of these thinkers, and then to read in the Astral Light all that they have thought out. By

    Patanjali and his school, such feats as these relate to matter and not to spirit, although toWestern ears they will sound either absurd, or if believed in, as relating to spirit.

    In the things of the spirit and of the mind, the modern schools seem, to the sincere student of thisPhilosophy, to be woefully ignorant. What spirit may be is absolutely unknown, and indeed, it

    cannot yet be stated what it is not. Equally so with mental phenomena. As to the latter there isnothing but a medley of systems. No one knows what mind is. One says it is brain and anotherdenies it; another declares it to be a function, which a fourth refuses to admit. As to memory, its

    place, nature and essential property, there is nothing offered but empiric deductions. To explainthe simple fact of a man remembering a circumstance of his early youth, all that is said is, that itmade an impression on his mind or brain, with no reasonable statement of what is the mind norhow or where the brain retains such vast quantities of impressions.

    With such a chaos in modern psychological systems, the student of Patanjali feels justified inadopting something which will, at least, explain and embrace the greater number of facts, and it is

    to be found in the doctrines again brought forward by the Theosophical Society, relating to manas a Spirit; to a Spirit in nature: to the identity of all spiritual beings, and to all phenomenapresented for our consideration.


    New York, 1889.

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    1. Assuredly, the exposition of Yoga, or Concentration, is now to be made.

    The Sanskrit particle atha,which is translated "assuredly," intimates to the disciple that a distinct

    topic is to be expounded, demands his attention, and also serves as a benediction. MonierWilliams says it is "an auspicious and inceptive participle often not easily expressed in English."

    2. Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of the thinking principle.

    In other words, the want of concentration of thought is due to the fact that the mind -- here called

    "the thinking principle" -- is subject to constant modifications by reason of its being diffused over amultiplicity of subjects. So "concentration" is equivalent to the correction of a tendency top,diffuseness, and to the obtaining of what the Hindus call "one-pointedness," or the power to apply

    the mind, at any moment, to the consideration of a single point of thought, to the exclusion of allelse.

    Upon this Aphorism the method of the system hinges. The reason for the absence ofconcentration at any time is, that the mind is modified by every subject and object that comes

    before it; it is, as it were, transformed into that subject or object. The mind, therefore, is not thesupreme or highest power; it is only a function, an instrument with which the soul works, feelssublunary things, and experiences. The brain, however, must not be confounded with the mind,

    for the brain is in its turn but an instrument for the mind. It therefore follows that the mind has aplane of its own, distinct from the soul and the brain, and what is to be learned is, to use the will,which is also a distinct power from the mind and brain, in such a way that instead of permitting

    the mind to turn from one subject or object to another just as they may move it, we shall apply itas a servant at any time and for as long a period as we wish, to the consideration of whatever wehave decided upon.

    3. At the time of concentration the soul abides in the state of a spectator without a spectacle.

    This has reference to the perfection of concentration, and is that condition in which, by the

    hindering of the modifications referred to in Aphorism2, the soul is brought to a state of beingwholly devoid of taint of, or impression by, any subject. The "soul" here referred to is not Atma,which is spirit.

    4. At other times than that of concentration, the soul is in the same form as the modification of themind.

    This has reference to the condition of the soul in ordinary life, when concentration is notpractised, and means that, when the internal organ, the mind, is through the senses affected ormodified by the form of some object, the soul also -- viewing the object through its organ, the

    mind -- is, as it were, altered into that form; as a marble statue of snowy whiteness, if seen under

    a crimson light will seem to the beholder crimson and so is, to the visual organs, so long as thatcolored light shines upon it.

    5. The modifications of the mind are of five kinds, and they are either painful or not painful;

    6. They are, Correct Cognition, Misconception, Fancy, Sleep, and Memory.

    7. Correct Cognition results from Perception, Inference, and Testimony.

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    8. Misconception is Erroneous Notion arising from lack of Correct Cognition.

    9. Fancy is a notion devoid of any real basis and following upon knowledge conveyed by words.

    For instance, the terms "a hare's horns" and "the head of Rahu," neither of which has anything innature corresponding to the notion. A person hearing the expression "the head of Rahu" naturally

    fancies that there is a Rahu who owns the head, whereas Rahu - - a mythical monster who is saidto cause eclipses by swallowing the sun -- is all head and has no body; and, although theexpression "a hare's horns" is frequently used, it is well known that there is no such thing in

    nature. Much in the same way people continue to speak of the sun's "rising" and "setting,"although they hold to the opposite theory.

    10. Sleep is that modification of the mind which ensues upon the quitting of all objects by themind, by reason of all the waking senses and faculties sinking into abeyance.

    11. Memory is the not letting go of an object that one has been aware of.

    12. The hindering of the modifications of the mind already referred to, is to be effected by meansof Exercise and Dispassion.

    13. Exercise is the uninterrupted, or repeated, effort that the mind shall remain in its unmovedstate.

    This is to say that in order to acquire concentration we must, again and again, make efforts toobtain such control over the mind that we can, at any time when it seems necessary, so reduce itto an unmoved condition or apply it to any one point to the exclusion of all others.

    14. This exercise is a firm position observed out of regard for the end in view, and perseveringlyadhered to for a long time without intermission.

    The student must not conclude from this that he can never acquire concentration unless he

    devotes every moment of his life to it, for the words "without intermission" apply but to the lengthof time that has been set apart for the practice.

    15. Dispassion is the having overcome one's desires.

    That is -- the attainment of a state of being in which the consciousness is unaffected by passions,desires, and ambitions, which aid in causing modifications of the mind.

    16. Dispassion, carried to the utmost, is indifference regarding all else than soul, and thisindifference arises from a knowledge of soul as distinguished from all else.

    17. There is a meditation of the kind called "that in which there is distinct cognition," and which isof a four-fold character because of Argumentation, Deliberation, Beatitude, Egoism.

    The sort of meditation referred to is a pondering wherein the nature of that which is to bepondered upon is well known, without doubt or error, and it is a distinct cognition which excludesevery other modification of the mind than that which is to be pondered upon.

    1. The Argumentative division of this meditation is a pondering upon a subject with argument as

    to its nature in comparison with something else; as, for instance, the question whether mind is theproduct of matter or precedes matter.

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    2. The Deliberative division is a pondering in regard to whence have come, and where is the fieldof action, of the subtler senses and the mind.

    3. The Beatific condition is that in which the higher powers of the mind, together with truth in theabstract, are pondered upon.

    4. The Egoistic division is one in which the meditation has proceeded to such a height that alllower subjects and objects are lost sight of, and nothing remains but the cognition of the self,which then becomes a stepping-stone to higher degrees of meditation.

    The result of reaching the fourth degree, called Egoism, is that a distinct recognition of the object

    or subject with which the meditation began is lost, and self-consciousness alone results; but thisself-consciousness does not include the consciousness of the Absolute or Supreme Soul.

    18. The meditation just described is preceded by the exercise of thought without argumentation.Another sort of meditation is in the shape of the self-reproduction of thought after the departure ofall objects from the field of the mind.

    19. The meditative state attained by those whose discrimination does not extend to pure spirit,

    depends upon the phenomenal world.

    20. In the practice of those who are, or may be, able to discriminate as to pure spirit, theirmeditation is preceded by Faith, Energy, Intentness (upon a single point), and Discernment, orthorough discrimination of that which is to be known.

    It is remarked here by the commentator, that "in him who has Faith there arises Energy, orperseverance in meditation, and, thus persevering, the memory of past subjects springs up, andhis mind becomes absorbed in Intentness, in consequence of the recollection of the subject, and

    he whose mind is absorbed in meditation arrives at a thorough discernment of the matterpondered upon."

    21. The attainment of the state of abstract meditation is speedy, in the case of the hotlyimpetuous.

    22. Because of the mild, the medium, and the transcendent nature of the methods adopted, thereis a distinction to be made among those who practise Yoga.

    23. The state of abstract meditation may be attained by profound devotedness toward theSupreme Spirit considered in its comprehensible manifestation as I's'wara.

    It is said that this profound devotedness is a preeminent means of attaining abstract meditationand its fruits. "I's'wara"is the Spirit in the body.

    24. I's'warais a spirit, untouched by troubles, works, fruits of works, or desires.

    25. In I's'warabecomes infinite that omniscience which in man exists but as a germ.

    26. I's'wara is the preceptor of all, even of the earliest of created beings, for He is not limited bytime.

    27. His name is OM.

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    28. The repetition of this name should be made with reflection upon its signification.

    The utterance of OM involves three sounds, those of long au,short u, and the "stoppage" or labialconsonant m. To this tripartiteness is attached deep mystical symbolic meaning. It denotes, as

    distinct yet in union, Brahma,Vishnu,and S'iva, or Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. As awhole, it implies "the Universe." In its application to man, aurefers to the spark of Divine Spirit

    that is in humanity; u,to the body through which the Spirit manifests itself; and m,to the death ofthe body, or its resolvement to its material elements. With regard to the cycles affecting anyplanetary system, it implies the Spirit, represented by au as the basis of the manifested worlds;the body or manifested matter, represented by u, through which the spirit works; and represented

    by m,"the stoppage or return of sound to its source," the PralayaorDissolutionof the worlds. Inpractical occultism, through this word reference is made to Sound, or Vibration, in all itsproperties and effects, this being one of the greatest powers of nature. In the use of this word as

    a practice, by means of the lungs and throat, a distinct effect is produced upon the human body.InAphorism28the name is used in its highest sense, which will necessarily include all the lower.All utterance of the word OM, as a practice, has a potential reference to the conscious separationof the soul from the body.

    29. From this repetition and reflection on its significanc e, there come a knowledge of the Spirit

    and the absence of obstacles to the attainment of the end in view.

    30. The obstacles in the way of him who desires to attain concentration are Sickness, Languor,Doubt, Carelessness, Laziness, Addiction to objects of sense, Erroneous Perception, Failure toattain any stage of abstraction, and Instability in any stage when attained.

    31. These obstacles are accompanied by grief, distress, trembling, and sighing.

    32. For the prevention of these, one truth should be dwelt upon.

    Any accepted truth which one approves is here meant.

    33. Through the practising of Benevolence, Tenderness, Complacency, and Disregard for objectsof happiness, grief, virtue, and vice, the mind becomes purified.

    The chief occasions for distraction of the mind are Covetousness and Aversion, and what theaphorism means is, not that virtue and vice should be viewed with indifference by the student, but

    that he should not fix his mind with pleasure upon happiness or virtue, nor with aversion upongrief or vice, in others, but should regard all with an equal mind; and the practice of Benevolence,Tenderness, and Complacency brings about cheerfulness of the mind, which tends to strengthand steadiness.

    34. Distractions may be combated by a regulated control or management of the breath ininspiration, retention, and exhalation.

    35. A means of procurement of steadiness of the mind may be found in an immediate sensuouscognition;

    36. Or, an immediate cognition of a spiritual subject being produced, this may also serve to thesame end;

    37. Or, the thought taking as its object some one devoid of passion -- as, for instance, an ideallypure character -- may find what will serve as a means;

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    38. Or, by dwelling on knowledge that presents itself in a dream, steadiness of mind may beprocured;

    39. Or, it may be effected by pondering upon anything that one approves.

    40. The student whose mind is thus steadied obtains a mastery which extends from the Atomic to

    the Infinite.

    41. The mind that has been so trained that the ordinary modifications of its action are not present,but only those which occur upon the conscious taking up of an object for contemplation, ischanged into the likeness of that which is pondered upon, and enters into full comprehension ofthe being thereof.

    42. This change of the mind into the likeness of what is pondered upon, is technically called theArgumentative condition, when there is any mixing-up of the title of the thing, the significance andapplication of that title, and the abstract knowledge of the qualities and elements of the thing perse.

    43. On the disappearance, from the plane of contemplation, of the title and significance of the

    object selected for meditation; when the abstract thing itself, free from distinction by designation,is presented to the mind only as an entity, that is what is called the Non-Argumentative conditionof meditation.

    These two aphorisms (42-43) describe the first and second stages of meditation, in the mindproperly intent upon objects of a gross or material nature. The next aphorism has reference to thestate when subtile, or higher, objects are selected for contemplative meditation.

    44. The Argumentative and Non-Argumentative conditions of the mind, described in the

    preceding two aphorisms, also obtain when the object selected for meditation is subtile, or of ahigher nature than sensuous objects.

    45. That meditation which has a subtile object in view ends with the indissoluble element calledprimordialmatter.

    46. The mental changes described in the foregoing, constitute "meditation with its seed."

    "Meditation with its seed" is that kind of meditation in which there is still present before the mind adistinct object to be meditated upon.

    47. When Wisdom has been reached, through acquirement of the non-deliberative mental state,there is spiritual clearness.

    48. In that case, then, there is that Knowledge which is absolutely free from Error.

    49. This kind of knowledge differs from the knowledge due to testimony and inference; because,in the pursuit of knowledge based upon those, the mind has to consider many particulars and isnot engaged with the general field of knowledge itself.

    50. The train of self-reproductive thought resulting from this puts a stop to all other trains ofthought.

    It is held that there are two main trains of thought; (a) that which depends upon suggestion madeeither by the words of another, or by impression upon the senses or mind, or upon association;

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    (b) that which depends altogether upon itself, and reproduces from itself the same thought asbefore. And when the second sort is attained, its effect is to act as an obstacle to all other trains

    of thought, for it is of such a nature that it repels or expels from the mind any other kind ofthought. As shown in Aphorism48,the mental state called "non-argumentative" is absolutely freefrom error, since it has nothing to do with testimony or inference, but is knowledge itself, andtherefore from its inherent nature it puts a stop to all other trains of thought.

    51. This train of thought itself, with but one object, may also be stopped, in which case"meditation without a seed" is attained.

    "Meditation without a seed" is that in which the brooding of the mind has been pushed to such apoint that the object selected for meditation has disappeared from the mental plane, and there isno longer any recognition of it, but consequent progressive thought upon a higher plane.


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    1. The practical part of Concentration is, Mortification, Muttering, and Resignation to the SupremeSoul.

    What is here meant by "mortification" is the practice laid down in other books, such as the

    DharmaS'astra,which includes penances and fastings; "muttering" is the semi-audible repetitionof formulae also laid down, preceded by the mystic name of the Supreme Being given inAphorism27,Book I;"resignation to the Supreme Soul," is the consigning to the Divine, or theSupreme Soul, all one's works, without interest in their results.

    2. This practical part of concentration is for the purpose of establishing meditation and eliminatingafflictions.

    3. The afflictions which arise in the disciple are Ignorance, Egoism, Desire, Aversion, and atenacious wish for existence upon the earth.

    4. Ignorance is the field of origin of the others named, whether they be dormant, extenuated,intercepted, or simple.

    5. Ignorance is the notion that the non-eternal, the impure, the evil, and that which is not soul are,severally, eternal, pure, good, and soul.

    6. Egoism is the identifying of the power that sees with the power of seeing. is the confounding of the soul, which really sees, with the tool it uses to enable it to see, viz.the mind, or -- to a still greater degree of error -- with those organs of sense which are in turn the

    tools of the mind; as, for instance, when an uncultured person thinks that it is his eye which sees,when in fact it is his mind that uses the eye as a tool for seeing.

    7. Desire is the dwelling upon pleasure.

    8. Aversion is the dwelling upon pain.

    9. The tenacious wish for existence upon earth is inherent in all sentient beings, and continuesthrough all incarnations, because it has self-reproductive power. It is felt as well by the wise asthe unwise.

    There is in the spirit a natural tendency, throughout a Manvantara, to manifestation on thematerial plane, on and through which only, the spiritual monads can attain their development; andthis tendency, acting through the physical basis common to all sentient beings, is extremely

    powerful and continues through all incarnations, helping to cause them, in fact, and re-producingitself in each incarnation.

    10. The foregoing five afflictions, when subtile, are to be evaded by the production of anantagonistic mental state.

    11. When these afflictions modify the mind by pressing themselves upon the attention, they are tobe got rid of by meditation.

    12. Such afflictions are the root of, and produce, results in both physical and mental actions orworks, and they, being our merits or demerits, have their fruitage either in the visible state or inthat which is unseen.

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    13. While that root of merit and demerit exists, there is a fructification during each succeeding lifeupon earth in rank, years, pleasure, or pain.

    14. Happiness or suffering results, as the fruit of merit and demerit, accordingly as the cause isvirtue or vice.

    15. But to that man who has attained to the perfection of spiritual cultivation, all mundane thingsare alike vexatious, since the modifications of the mind due to the natural qualities are adverse tothe attainment of the highest condition; because, until that is reached, the occupation of any formof body is a hindrance, and anxiety and impressions of various kinds ceaselessly continue.

    16. That which is to be shunned by the disciple is pain not yet come.

    The past cannot be changed or amended; that which belongs to the experiences of the presentcannot, and should not, be shunned; but alike to be shunned are disturbing anticipations or fearsof the future, and every act or impulse that may cause present or future pain to ourselves orothers.

    17. From the fact that the soul is conjoined in the body with the organ of thought, and thus with

    the whole of nature, lack of discrimination follows, producing misconceptions of duties andresponsibilities. This misconception leads to wrongful acts, which will inevitably bring about painin the future.

    A. The Universe, including the visible and the invisible, the essential nature of which iscompounded of purity, action, and rest, and which consists of the elements and the organs ofaction, exists for the sake of the soul's experience and emancipation.

    19. The divisions of the qualities are the diverse, the non-diverse, those which may be resolvedonce but no farther, and the irresolvable.

    The "diverse " are such as the gross elements and the organs of sense; the "non-diverse," the

    subtile elements and the mind; the "once resolvable," the intellect, which can be resolved intoundifferentiated matter but no farther; and the "irresolvable," indiscrete matter.

    20. The soul is the Perceiver; is assuredly vision itself pure and simple; unmodified; and looksdirectly upon ideas.

    21. For the sake of the soul alone, the Universe exists.

    The commentator adds: "Nature in energizing does not do so with a view to any purpose of herown, but with the design, as it were, expressed in the words 'let me bring about the soul'sexperience.'"

    22. Although the Universe in its objective state has ceased to be, in respect to that man who has

    attained to the perfection of spiritual cultivation, it has not ceased in respect to all others, becauseit is common to others besides him.

    23. The conjuncture of the soul with the organ of thought, and thus with nature, is the cause of itsapprehension of the actual condition of the nature of the Universe and of the soul itself.

    24. The cause of this conjuncture is what is to be quitted, and that cause is ignorance.

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    25. The quitting consists in the ceasing of the conjuncture, upon which ignorance disappears, andthis is the Isolation of the soul.

    That which is meant in this and in the preceding two aphorisms is that the conjuncture of soul and

    body, through repeated reincarnations, is due to its absence of discriminative knowledge of thenature of the soul and its environment, and when this discriminative knowledge has been

    attained, the conjuncture, which was due to the absence of discrimination, ceases of its ownaccord.

    26. The means of quitting the state of bondage to matter is perfect discriminative knowledge,continuously maintained.

    The import of this -- among other things -- is that the man who has attained to the perfection ofspiritual cultivation maintains his consciousness, alike while in the body, at the moment of quitting

    it, and when he has passed into higher spheres; and likewise when returning continues itunbroken while quitting higher spheres, when re-entering his body, and in resuming action on thematerial plane.

    27. This perfect discriminative knowledge possessed by the man who has attained to the

    perfection of spiritual cultivation, is of seven kinds, up to the limit of meditation.

    28. Until this perfect discriminative knowledge is attained, there results from those practiceswhich are conducive to concentration, an illumination more or less brilliant which is effective forthe removal of impurity.

    29. The practices which are conducive to concentration are eight in number: Forbearance,

    Religious Observances, Postures, Suppression of the breath, Restraint, Attention, Contemplation,and Meditation.

    30. Forbearance consists in not killing, veracity, not stealing, continence, and not coveting.

    31. These, without respect to rank, place, time, or compact, are the universal great duties.

    32. Religious Observances are purification of both mind and body, contentment, austerity,inaudible mutterings, and persevering devotion to the Supreme Soul.

    33. In order to exclude from the mind questionable things, the mental calling up of those thingsthat are opposite is efficacious for their removal.

    34. Questionable things, whether done, caused to be done, or approved of; whether resultingfrom covetousness, anger, or delusion; whether slight, or of intermediate character, or beyondmeasure; are productive of very many fruits in the shape of pain and ignorance; hence, the"calling up of those things that are opposite" is in every way advisable.

    35. When harmlessness and kindness are fully developed in the Yogi [he who has attained tocultivated enlightenment of the soul], there is a complete absence of enmity, both in men andanimals, among all that are near to him.

    36. When veracity is complete, the Yogi becomes the focus for the Karma resulting from all worksgood or bad.

    37. When abstinence from theft, in mind and act, is complete in the Yogi, he has the power toobtain all material wealth.

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    38. When continence is complete, there is a gain of strength, in body and mind.

    It is not meant here that a student practising continence solely, and neglecting the other practicesenjoined, will gain strength. All parts of the system must be pursued concurrently, on the mental,moral, and physical planes.

    39. When covetousness is eliminated, there comes to the Yogi a knowledge of everything relatingto, or which has taken place in, former states of existence.

    "Covetousness" here applies not only to coveting any object, but also to the desire for enjoyableconditions of mundane existence, or even for mundane existence itself.

    40. From purification of the mind and body there arises in the Yogi a thorough discernment of the

    cause and nature of the body, whereupon he loses that regard which others have for the bodilyform; and he also ceases to feel the desire of, or necessity for, association with his fellow-beingsthat is common among other men.

    41. From purification of the mind and body also ensure to the Yogi a complete predominance of

    the quality of goodness, complacency, intentness, subjugation of the senses, and fitness for

    contemplation and comprehension of the soul as distinct from nature.

    42. From contentment in its perfection the Yogi acquires superlative felicity.

    43. When austerity is thoroughly practised by the Yogi, the result thereof is a perfecting andheightening of the bodily senses by the removal of impurity.

    44. Through inaudible muttering there is a meeting with one's favorite Deity.

    By properly uttered invocations -- here referred to in the significant phrase "inaudible mutterings,"

    the higher powers in nature, ordinarily unseen by man, are caused to reveal themselves to thesight of the Yogi; and inasmuch as all the powers in nature cannot be evoked at once, the mind

    must be directed to some particular force, or power in nature -- hence the use of the term "withone's favorite Deity."

    45. Perfection in meditation comes from persevering devotion to the Supreme Soul.

    46. A posture assumed by a Yogi must be steady and pleasant.

    For the clearing up of the mind of the student it is to be observed that the "postures" laid down invarious systems of "Yoga" are not absolutely essential to the successful pursuit of the practice ofconcentration and attainment of its ultimate fruits. All such "postures," as prescribed by Hindu

    writers, are based upon an accurate knowledge of the physiological effects produced by them,but at the present day they are only possible for Hindus, who from their earliest years areaccustomed to assuming them.

    47. When command over the postures has been thoroughly attained, the effort to assume them is

    easy; and when the mind has become thoroughly identified with the boundlessness of space, theposture becomes steady and pleasant.

    48. When this condition has been attained, the Yogi feels no assaults from the pairs of opposites.

    By "pairs of opposites" reference is made to the conjoined classification, all through the Hinduphilosophical and metaphysical systems, of the opposed qualities, conditions, and states of

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    being, which are eternal sources of pleasure or pain in mundane existence, such as cold andheat, hunger and satiety, day and night, poverty and riches, liberty and despotism.

    49. Also, when this condition has been attained, there should succeed regulation of the breath, inexhalation, inhalation, and retention.

    50. This regulation of the breath, which is in exhalation, inhalation, and retention, is furtherrestricted by conditions of time, place, and number, each of which may be long or short.

    51. There is a special variety of breath regulation which has reference to both that described inthe last preceding aphorism and the inner sphere of breathing.

    Aphorisms 49, 50, 51 allude to regulation of the breath as a portion of the physical exercises

    referred to in the note upon Aphorism46,acquaintance with the rules and prescriptions for which,on the part of the student, is inferred by Patanjali. Aphorism50refers merely to the regulation ofthe several periods, degrees of force; and number of alternating recurrences of the three divisions

    of breathing -- exhalation, inhalation, and retention of the breath. But Aphorism 51 alludes toanother regulation of the breath, which is its governance by the mind so as to control its directionto and consequent influence upon certain centers of nerve perception within the human body for

    the production of physiological, followed by psychic effects.

    52. By means of this regulation of the breath, the obscuration of the mind resulting from theinfluence of the body is removed.

    53. And thus the mind becomes prepared for acts of attention.

    54. Restraint is the accommodation of the senses to the nature of the mind, with an absence onthe part of the senses of their sensibility to direct impression from objects.

    55. Therefrom results a complete subjugation of the senses.


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    BOOK 3

    1. Fixing the mind on a place, object, or subject is attention.

    This is called Dharana.

    2. The continuance of this attention is contemplation.

    This is called Dhyana.

    3. This contemplation, when it is practised only in respect to a material subject or object of sense,is meditation.

    This is called Samadhi.

    4. When this fixedness of attention, contemplation, and meditation are practised with respect toone object, they together constitute what is called Sanyama.

    We have no word in English corresponding to Sanyama. The translators have used the wordrestraint, but this is inadequate and misleading, although it is a correct translation. When a Hindu

    says that an ascetic is practising restraint according to this system in respect to any object, hemeans that he is performing Sanyama, while in English it may indicate that he is restraininghimself from some particular thing or act, and this is not the meaning of Sanyama.We have usedthe language of the text, but the idea may perhaps be better conveyed by "perfect concentration."

    5. By rendering Sanyama-- or the operation of fixed attention, contemplation, and meditation --natural and easy, an accurate discerning power is developed.

    This "discerning power" is a distinct faculty which this practice alone develops, and is notpossessed by ordinary persons who have not pursued concentration.

    6. Sanyamais to be used in proceeding step by step in overcoming all modifications of the mind,from the more apparent to those the most subtle.

    [See note to Aphorism 2, Book I.] The student is to know that after he has overcome theafflictions and obstructions described in the preceding books, there are other modifications of arecondite character suffered by the mind, which are to be got rid of by means of Sanyama.Whenhe has reached that stage the difficulties will reveal themselves to him.

    7. The three practices -- attention, contemplation, and meditation -- are more efficacious for theattainment of that kind of meditation called, "that in which there is distinct cognition," than the firstfive means heretofore described as "not killing, veracity, not stealing, continence, and notcoveting."

    SeeAphorism 17, Book I.

    8. Attention, contemplation, and meditation are anterior to and not immediately productive of thatkind of meditation in which the distinct cognition of the object is lost, which is called meditationwithout a seed.

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    9. There are two trains of self-reproductive thought, the first of which results from the mind beingmodified and shifted by the object or subject contemplated; the second, when it is passing from

    that modification and is becoming engaged only with the truth itself; at the moment when the firstis subdued and the mind is just becoming intent, it. is concerned in both of those two trains ofself-reproductive thought, and this state is technically called Nirodha.

    10. In that state of meditation which has been called Nirodha,the mind has an uniform flow.

    11. When the mind has overcome and fully controlled its natural inclination to consider diverseobjects, and begins to become intent upon a single one, meditation is said to be reached.

    12. When the mind, after becoming fixed upon a single object, has ceased to be concerned in anythought about the condition, qualities, or relations of the thing thought of, but is absolutelyfastened upon the object itself, it is then said to be intent upon a single point -- a state technicallycalled Ekagrata.

    13. The three major classes of perception regarding the characteristic property, distinctive markor use, and possible changes of use or relation, of any object or organ of the body contemplatedby the mind, have been sufficiently explained by the foregoing exposition of the manner in which

    the mind is modified.

    It is very difficult to put this aphorism into English. The three words translated as "characteristicproperty, distinctive mark or use, and possible change of use" are Dharma, Lakshana, andAvastha, and may be thus illustrated: Dharma, as, say, the clay of which a jar is composed,

    Lakshana, the idea of a jar thus constituted, and Avastha, the consideration that the jar altersevery moment, in that it becomes old, or is otherwise affected.

    14. The properties of an object presented to the mind are: first, those which have beenconsidered and dismissed from view; second, those under consideration; and third, that which isincapable of denomination because it is not special, but common to all matter.

    The third class above spoken of has reference to a tenet of the philosophy which holds that allobjects may and will be finally "resolved into nature" or one basic substance; hence gold may beconsidered as mere matter, and therefore not different -- not to be separately denominated in finalanalysis -- from earth.

    15. The alterations in the order of the three-fold mental modifications before described, indicate tothe ascetic the variety of changes which a characteristic property is to undergo whencontemplated.

    16. A knowledge of past and future events comes to an ascetic from his performing Sanyamainrespect to the three-fold mental modifications just explained.

    See Aphorism 4, where "Sanyama" is explained as the use or operation of attention,

    contemplation, and meditation in respect to a single object.

    I7. In the minds of those who have not attained to concentration, there is a confusion as to utteredsounds, terms, and knowledge, which results from comprehending these three indiscriminately;

    but when an ascetic views these separately, by performing "Sanyama" respecting them, heattains the power of understanding the meaning of any sound uttered by any sentient being.

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    18. A knowledge of the occurrences experienced in former incarnations arises in the ascetic fromholding before his mind the trains of self-reproductive thought and concentrating himself uponthem.

    19. The nature of the mind of another person becomes known to the ascetic when heconcentrates his own mind upon that other person.

    20. Such concentration will not, however, reveal to the ascetic the fundamental basis of the otherperson's mind, because he does not "perform Sanyama" with that object before him.

    21. By performing concentration in regard to the properties and essential nature of form,

    especially that of the human body, the ascetic acquires the power of causing the disappearanceof his corporeal frame from the sight of others, because thereby its property of beingapprehended by the eye is checked, and that property of Sattwa which exhibits itself asluminousness is disconnected from the spectator's organ of sight.

    Another great difference between this philosophy and modern science is here indicated. Theschools of today lay down the rule that if there is a healthy eye in line with the rays of lightreflected from an object -- such as a human body -- the latter will be seen, and that no action of

    the mind of the person looked at can inhibit the functions of the optic nerves and retina of theonlooker. But the ancient Hindus held that all things are seen by reason of that differentiation ofSattwa -- one of the three great qualities composing all things -- which is manifested as

    luminousness, operating in conjunction with the eye, which is also a manifestation of Sattwainanother aspect. The two must conjoin; the absence of luminousness or its being disconnectedfrom the seer's eye will cause a disappearance. And as the quality of luminousness is completely

    under the control of the ascetic, he can, by the process laid down, check it, and thus cut off fromthe eye of the other an essential element in the seeing of any object.

    22. In the same manner, by performing Sanyama in regard to any particular organ of sense --such as that of hearing, or of feeling, or of tasting, or of smelling -- the ascetic acquires the powerto cause cessation of the functions of any of the organs of another or of himself, at will.

    The ancient commentator differs from others with regard to this aphorism, in that he asserts that itis a portion of the original text, while they affirm that it is not, but an interpolation.

    23. Action is of two kinds; first, that accompanied by anticipation of consequences; second, thatwhich is without any anticipation of consequences. By performing concentration with regard tothese kinds of action, a knowledge arises in the ascetic as to the time of his death.

    Karma,resultant from actions of both kinds in present and in previous incarnations, produces andaffects our present bodies, in which we are performing similar actions. The ascetic, by steadfastlycontemplating all his actions in this and in previous incarnations (see Aphorism 18), is able to

    know absolutely the consequences resultant from actions he has performed, and hence has thepower to calculate correctly the exact length of his life.

    24. By performing concentration in regard to benevolence, tenderness, complacency, anddisinterestedness, the ascetic is able to acquire the friendship of whomsoever he may desire.

    25. By performing concentration with regard to the powers of the elements, or of the animalkingdom, the ascetic is able to manifest those in himself.

    26. By concentrating his mind upon minute, concealed or distant objects, in every department ofnature, the ascetic acquires thorough knowledge concerning them.

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    27. By concentrating his mind upon the sun, a knowledge arises in the ascetic concerning allspheres between the earth and the sun.

    28. By concentrating his mind upon the moon, there arises in the ascetic a knowledge of the fixedstars.

    29. By concentrating his mind upon the polar star, the ascetic is able to know the fixed time andmotion of every star in the Brahmandaof which this earth is a part.

    "Brahmanda"here means the great system, called by some "universe,"in which this world is.

    30. By concentrating his mind upon the solar plexus, the ascetic acquires a knowledge of thestructure of the material body.

    31. By concentrating his mind upon the nerve center in the pit of the throat, the ascetic is able toovercome hunger and thirst.

    32. By concentrating his mind upon the nerve center below the pit of the throat, the ascetic is ableto prevent his body being moved, without any resistant exertion of his muscles.

    33. By concentrating his mind upon the light in the head the ascetic acquires the power of seeingdivine beings.

    There are two inferences here which have nothing to correspond to them in modern thought. One

    is, that there is a light in the head; and the other, that there are divine beings who may be seen bythose who thus concentrate upon the "light in the head." It is held that a certain nerve, or psychiccurrent, called Brahmarandhra-nadi,passes out through the brain near the top of the head. In this

    there collects more of the luminous principle in nature than elsewhere in the body and it is calledjyotis-- the light in the head. And, as every result is to be brought about by the use of appropriatemeans, the seeing of divine beings can be accomplished by concentration upon that part of the

    body more nearly connected with them. This point -- the end of Brahmarandhra-nadi-- is also the

    place where the connexion is made between man and the solar forces.

    34. The ascetic can, after long practice, disregard the various aids to concentration hereinbeforerecommended for the easier acquirement of knowledge, and will be able to possess anyknowledge simply through the desire therefor.

    35. By concentrating his mind upon the Hridaya,the ascetic acquires penetration and knowledgeof the mental conditions, purposes, and thoughts of others, as well as an accuratecomprehension of his own.

    Hridaya is the heart. There is some disagreement among mystics as to whether the muscular

    heart is meant, or some nervous center to which it leads, as in the case of a similar direction forconcentrating on the umbilicus, when, in fact, the field of nerves called the solar plexus is


    36. By concentrating his mind upon the true nature of the soul as being entirely distinct from any

    experiences, and disconnected from all material things, and dissociated from the understanding,a knowledge of the true nature of the soul itself arises in the ascetic.

    37. From the particular kind of concentration last described, there arises in the ascetic, andremains with him at all times, a knowledge concerning all things, whether they be thoseapprehended through the organs of the body or otherwise presented to his contemplation.

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    38. The powers hereinbefore described are liable to become obstacles in the way of perfectconcentration, because of the possibility of wonder and pleasure flowing from their exercise, butare not obstacles for the ascetic who is perfect in the practice enjoined.

    "Practice enjoined," seeAphorisms36,37.

    39. The inner self of the ascetic may be transferred to any other body and there have completecontrol, because he has ceased to be mentally attached to objects of sense, and through hisacquisition of the knowledge of the manner in and means by which the mind and body areconnected.

    As this philosophy holds that the mind, not being the result of brain, enters the body by a certainroad and is connected with it in a particular manner, this aphorism declares that, when the asceticacquires a knowledge of the exact process of connecting mind and body, he can connect his

    mind with any other body, and thus transfer the power to use the organs of the occupied frame inexperiencing effects from the operations of the senses.

    40. By concentrating his mind upon, and becoming master of, that vital energy called Udana,theascetic acquires the power of arising from beneath water, earth, or other superincumbent matter.

    Udana is the name given to one of the so-called "vital airs." These, in fact, are certain nervous

    functions for which our physiology has no name, and each one of which has its own office. It maybe said that by knowing them, and how to govern them, one can alter his bodily polarity at will.The same remarks apply to the next aphorism.

    41. By concentrating his mind upon the vital energy called Samana, the ascetic acquires thepower to appear as if blazing with light.

    [This effect has been seen by the interpreter on several occasions when in company with onewho had acquired the power. The effect was as if the person had a luminousness under the skin.-- W. Q. J.]

    42. By concentrating his mind upon the relations between the ear and A'kas'a, the ascetic

    acquires the power of hearing all sounds, whether upon the earth or in the aether, and whetherfar or near.

    The word A'kas'a has been translated both as "aether" and "astral light." In this aphorism it isemployed in the former sense. Sound, it will remembered, is the distinctive property of thiselement.

    43. By concentrating his mind upon the human body, in its relations to air and space, the asceticis able to change at will the polarity of his body, and consequently acquires the power of freeing itfrom the control of the laws of gravitation.

    44. When the ascetic has completely mastered all the influences which the body has upon theinner man, and has laid aside all concern in regard to it, and in no respect is affected by it, theconsequence is a removal of all obscurations of the intellect.

    45. The ascetic acquires complete control over the elements by concentrating his mind upon thefive classes of properties in the manifested universe; as, first, those of gross or phenomenal

    character; second, those of form; third, those of subtle quality; fourth, those susceptible ofdistinction as to light, action, and inertia; fifth, those having influence in their various degrees forthe production of fruits through their effects upon the mind.

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    46. From the acquirement of such power over the elements there results to the ascetic variousperfections, to wit, the power to project his inner-self into the smallest atom, to expand his inner-

    self to the size of the largest body, to render his material body light or heavy at will, to giveindefinite extension to his astral body or its separate members, to exercise an irresistible will uponthe minds of others, to obtain the highest excellence of the material body, and the ability topreserve such excellence when obtained.

    47. Excellence of the material body consists in color, loveliness of form, strength, and density.

    48. The ascetic acquires complete control over the organs of sense from having performedSanyama(concentration) in regard to perception, the nature of the organs, egoism, the quality ofthe organs as being in action or at rest, and their power to produce merit or demerit from theconnexion of the mind with them.

    49. Therefrom spring up in the ascetic the powers; to move his body from one place to anotherwith the quickness of thought, to extend the operations of his senses beyond the trammels ofplace or the obstructions of matter, and to alter any natural object from one form to another.

    50. In the ascetic who has acquired the accurate discriminative knowledge of the truth and of the

    nature of the soul, there arises a knowledge of all existences in their essential natures and amastery over them.

    51. In the ascetic who acquires an indifference even to the last mentioned perfection, throughhaving destroyed the last germs of desire, there comes a state of the soul that is called Isolation.

    [See note on Isolation in Book IV.]

    52. The ascetic ought not to form association with celestial beings who may appear before him,

    nor exhibit wonderment at their appearance, since the result would be a renewal of afflictions ofthe mind.

    53. A great and most subtile knowledge springs from the discrimination that follows uponconcentration of the mind performed with regard to the relation between moments and their order.

    In this Patanjali speaks of ultimate divisions of time which cannot be further divided, and of the

    order in which they precede and succeed each other. It is asserted that a perception of theseminute periods can be acquired, and the result will be that he who discriminates thus goes on togreater and wider perception of principles in nature which are so recondite that modern

    philosophy does not even know of their existence. We know that we can all distinguish suchperiods as days or hours, and there are many persons, born mathematicians, who are able toperceive the succession of minutes and can tell exactly without a watch how many have elapsed

    between any two given points in time. The minutes, so perceived by these mathematicalwonders, are, however, not the ultimate divisions of time referred to in the Aphorism, but arethemselves composed of such ultimates. No rules can be given for such concentration as this, as

    it is so far on the road of progress that the ascetic finds the rules himself, after having masteredall the anterior processes.

    54. Therefrom results in the ascetic a power to discern subtile differences impossible to be knownby other means.

    55. The knowledge that springs from this perfection of discriminative power is called "knowledge

    that saves from rebirth." It has all things and the nature of all things for its objects, and perceives

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    all that hath been and that is, without limitations of time, place, or circumstance, as if all were inthe present and the presence of the contemplator.

    Such an ascetic as is referred to in this and the next aphorism, is a Jivanmuktaand is not subject

    to reincarnation. He, however, may live yet upon earth but is not in any way subject to his body,the soul being perfectly free at every moment. And such is held to be the state of those beings

    called, in theosophical literature, Adepts, Mahatmas, Masters.

    56. When the mind no longer conceives itself to be the knower, or experiencer, and has become

    one with the soul -- the real knower and experiencer -- Isolation takes place and the soul isemancipated.


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    1. Perfections of body, or superhuman powers are produced by birth, or by powerful herbs, or byincantations, penances, or meditations.

    The sole cause of permanent perfections is meditation performed in incarnations prior to that inwhich the perfection appears, for perfection by birth, such as the power of birds to fly, isimpermanent, as also are those following upon incantations, elixirs and the like. But as meditation

    reaches within, it affects each incarnation. It must also follow that evil meditation will have theresult of begetting perfection in evil.

    2. The change of a man into another class of being -- such as that of a celestial being -- iseffected by the transfusion of natures.

    This alludes to the possibility -- admitted by the Hindus -- of a man's being altered into one of theDevas,or celestial beings, through the force of penances and meditation.

    3. Certain merits, works, and practices are called "occasional" because they do not produce

    essential modification of nature; but they are effective for the removal of obstructions in the wayof former merit, as in the case of the husbandman who removes impediments in the course of theirrigating stream, which then flows forward.

    This is intended to further explain Aphorism 2 by showing, that in any incarnation certainpractices [e.g. those previously laid down] will clear away the obscurations of a man's pastKarma,upon which that Karmawill manifest itself; whereas, if the practices were not pursued, theresult of past meditation might be delayed until yet another life.

    4. The minds acting in the various bodies which the ascetic voluntarily assumes are theproduction of his egoism alone.

    5. And for the different activities of those various minds, the ascetic's mind is the moving cause.

    6. Among the minds differently constituted by reason of birth, herbs, incantations, penances, andmeditation, that one alone which is due to meditation is destitute of the basis of mental depositsfrom works.

    The aphorism applies to all classes of men, and not to bodies assumed by the ascetic; and theremust always be kept in view the doctrine of the philosophy that each life leaves in the Ego mentaldeposits which form the basis upon which subsequent vicissitudes follow in other lives.

    7. The work of the ascetic is neither pure nor dark, but is peculiar to itself, while that of others is ofthree kinds.

    The three kinds of work alluded to are (1) pure in action and motive; (2) dark, such as that ofinfernal beings; (3) that of the general run of men, pure-dark. The 4th is that of the ascetic.

    8. From these works there results, in every incarnation, a manifestation of only those mentaldeposits which can come to fructification in the environment provided.

    9. Although. the manifestation of mental deposits may be intercepted by unsuitable environments,

    differing as to class, place, and time, there is an immediate relation between them, because thememory and the train of self-reproductive thought are identical.

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    This is to remove a doubt caused byAphorism8,and is intended to show that memory is not dueto mere brain matter, but is possessed by the incarnating ego, which holds all the mental deposits

    in a latent state, each one becoming manifest whenever the suitable bodily constitution andenvironment are provided for it.

    10. The mental deposits are eternal because of the force of the desire which produced them.

    In the Indian edition this reads that the deposits remain because of the "benediction." And as thatword is used in a special sense, we do not give it here. All mental deposits result from a desire for

    enjoyment, whether it be from a wish to avoid in the next life certain pain suffered in this, or fromthe positive feeling expressed in the desire, "may such and such pleasure always be mine." Thisis called a "benediction." And the word "eternal" has also a special signification, meaning onlythat period embraced by a "day of Brahma," which lasts for a thousand ages.

    11. As they are collected by cause, effect, substratum, and support, when those are removed, theresult is that there is a non-existence of the mental deposits.

    This aphorism supplements the preceding one, and intends to show that, although the depositswill remain during "eternity" if left to themselves -- being always added to by new experiences and

    similar desires -- yet they may be removed by removing producing causes.

    12. That which is past and that which is to come, are not reduced to non-existence, for therelations of the properties differ one from the other.

    13. Objects, whether subtile or not, are made up of the three qualities.

    The "three qualities" are Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas, or Truth, Activity, and Darkness: Truthcorresponding to light and joy; Activity to passion; and Darkness to evil, rest, indifference, sloth,death. All manifested objects are compounded of these three.

    14. Unity of things results from unity of modification.

    15. Cognition is distinct from the object, for there is diversity of thoughts among observers of oneobject.

    16. An object is cognized or not cognized by the mind accordingly as the mind is or is not tinted oraffected by the object.

    17. The modifications of the mind are always known to the presiding spirit, because it is notsubject to modification.

    Hence, through all the changes to which the mind and soul are subject, the spiritual soul, I's'wara,remains unmoved, "the witness and spectator."

    18. The mind is not self-illuminative, because it is an instrument of the soul, is colored andmodified by experiences and objects, and is cognized by the soul.

    19. Concentrated attention to two objects cannot take place simultaneously.

    20. If one perception be cognizable by another, then there would be the further necessity forcognition of cognition, and from that a confusion of recollection would take place.

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    21. When the understanding and the soul are united, then self-knowledge results.

    The self-knowledge spoken of here is that interior illumination desired by all mystics, and is notmerely a knowledge of self in the ordinary sense.

    22. The mind, when united with the soul and fully conversant with knowledge, embraces

    universally all objects.

    23. The mind, though assuming various forms by reason of innumerable mental deposits, existsfor the purpose of the soul's emancipation and operates in co-operation therewith.

    24. In him who knows the difference between the nature of soul and mind, the false notionregarding the soul comes to an end.

    The mind is merely a tool, instrument, or means, by which the soul acquires experiences andknowledge. In each incarnation the mind is, as it were, new. It is a portion of the apparatus

    furnished to the soul through innumerable lives for obtaining experience and reaping the fruit ofworks performed. The notion that the mind is either knower or experiencer is a false one, which isto be removed before emancipation can be reached by soul. It was therefore said that the mind

    operates or exists for the carrying out of the soul's salvation, and not the soul for the mind's sake.When this is fully understood, the permanency of soul is seen, and all the evils flowing from falseideas begin to disappear.

    25. Then the mind becomes deflected toward discrimination and bowed down before Isolation.

    26. But in the intervals of meditation other thoughts arise, in consequence of the continuance ofold impressions not yet expunged.

    27. The means to be adopted for the avoidance and elimination of these are the same as beforegiven for obviating the afflictions.

    28. If the ascetic is not desirous of the fruits, even when perfect knowledge has been attained,and is not inactive, the meditation technically called Dharma Megha -- cloud of virtue -- takesplace from his absolutely perfect discriminative knowledge.

    The commentator explains that, when the ascetic has reached the point described in Aphorism25,if he bends his concentration toward the prevention of all other thoughts, and is not desirousof attaining the powers resulting just at his wish, a further state of meditation is reached which is

    called "cloud of virtue," because it is such as will, as it were, furnish the spiritual rain for thebringing about of the chief end of the soul -- entire emancipation. And it contains a warning that,until that chief end is obtained, the desire for fruits is an obstacle.

    29. Therefrom results the removal of the afflictions and all works.

    30. Then, from infinity of knowledge absolutely free from obscuration and impurity, that which isknowable appears small and easy to grasp.

    31. Thereupon, the alternation in the modifications of the qualities, having accomplished thesoul's aim -- experience and emancipation -- comes to an end.

    32. It is then perceived that the moments and their order of precedence and succession are thesame.

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    This is a step further than Aphorism 53, Book III, where it is stated that from discrimination ofultimates of time a perception of the very subtle and recondite principles of the universe results.

    Here, having arrived at Isolation, the ascetic sees beyond even the ultimates, and they, althoughcapable of affecting the man who has not reached this stage, are for the ascetic identical,because he is a master of them. It is extremely difficult to interpret this aphorism; and in the

    original it reads that "theorderiscounterpartofthemoment." To express it in another way, it maybe said that in the species of meditation adverted to in Aphorism 53, Book III, a calculativecognition goes forward in the mind, during which, the contemplator not yet being thoroughlymaster of these divisions of time, is compelled to observe them as they pass before him.

    33. The reabsorption of the qualities which have consummated the aim of the soul or the abidingof the soul united with understanding in its own nature, is Isolation.

    This is a general statement of the nature of Isolation, sometimes called Emancipation. Thequalities before spoken of, found in all objects and which had hitherto affected and delayed the

    soul, have ceased to be mistaken by it for realities, and the consequence is that the soul abidesin its own nature unaffected by the great "pairs of opposites" -- pleasure and pain, good and evil,cold and heat, and so forth.

    Yet it must not be deduced that the philosophy results in a negation, or in a coldness, such as ourEnglish word "Isolation" would seem to imply. The contrary is the case. Until this state is reached,the soul, continually affected and deflected by objects, senses, suffering, and pleasure, is unableto consciously partake universally of the great life of the universe. To do so, it must stand firmly

    "in its own nature"; and then it proceeds further -- as is admitted by the philosophy -- to bringabout the aim of all other souls still struggling on the road. But manifestly further aphorisms uponthat would be out of place, as well as being such as could not be understood, to say nothing ofthe uselessness of giving them.


    May I's'wara be near and help those who read this book.